The Minister for Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has launched a website “ghanatoday.gov.gh” to combat misinformation.
The website, which is managed by the Information Services Department (ISD), is expected to combat misinformation by providing direct information from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies about the works of the government and becoming a repository of all happenings in government.
It will also provide facts about the government projects and programmes, full texts of all speeches by heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, official communications and publications, policies and programme documents to reduce the level of misrepresentations and sometimes outright misinformation online.
The Information Minister, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, noted the website’s launch on Monday, forms an integral part of the re-organization and retooling of the ISD and it is aimed at equipping the Department to serve more audiences with its work even as the times and media consumption patterns change.
He stated, “As you may be aware, a significant section of our population now relies on online platforms and other social media platforms for information. It is also important to note that some unscrupulous persons have used many of these portals and social media platforms to propagate falsehood and misinformation. This phenomenon is gradually undermining our democracy.”
Mr Oppong Nkrumah pointed out that the Department is represented in all 16 regions and 261 districts of the country and despite the successes that have been chalked in the delivery of its mandate over the years, the Department had lost some steam primarily as a result of successive administrations’ failure to adequately equip it and the failure to keep up with the rapidly evolving media landscape and the associated technology.
“In response to this difficulty and to make the Department relevant in contemporary times, Cabinet approved a Programme for the Department to undergo vigorous re-tooling and re-organization to meet the needs of the present day.
“So far, we have established a state-of-the-art research department, an ultra-modern Public Relations Coordinating Division, and the Media Division, which rolls out its first project today. All these are geared towards positioning the Department to become a very vibrant institution for the dissemination of authentic government information to keep the public well informed. We expect to complete processes shortly to open up the new Public Education Campaign, featuring the iconic Green and Yellow Vans popular known as ‘Aban Cine’. This will be useful in ensuring that word gets to the last mile about Governance,” he added.
The Minister charged the ISD Media Division to accurately and consistently update the website so that the citizens could quickly access all the facts and the necessary documentation as soon as possible.
“As I have charged you earlier, platforms like this are only as useful as how regularly and accurately you update them. So, work quickly and accurately to ensure that the Ghanaian citizen is reached with all the facts and the necessary documentation as soon as possible. Do not wait until tomorrow. Do it now.
To your PROs across the MDAs, it is your job to ensure that the information and the documents reach ISD Media today, so they are published. The regular delays in getting materials to your colleagues at ISD media will only undermine the potential efficacy of this very useful tool. So, get to work with speed and call for help if you need help with the bureaucracy in your ministries,” he stressed.
The Minister further advised the media to make the most of this essential tool to facilitate their work.
“To the general public, reach out to www.ghanatoday.gov.gh if you want to validate the information about Govt works that you may come across,” he added.
On his part, the Acting Head of the Newsroom, Mr Sule Jotie assured that the website would be used to disseminate timely information to counteract misinformation.
Patience Anaadem, ISD
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